The Blessing of Nalos
As with all endeavours from Xiur, the Blessing of Nalos exists merely to give mortals an easier time of it as they struggle through the harsh realities of the world. He is not discriminatory towards any mortals wandering through Idalos. He will even support the Naerikk. However he will not allow his mark to be shared with Audrae's. If a prospect has her mark, he will not grant his; and if she grants her mark to a willing recipient that already possesses his, he will remove his. Physically, the blessing is not obvious at first. It starts as a small white spot, which as joined by others as devotion grows. These spots become connected by lightly glowing lines to form one of the four "constellations" listed below. Which one is dictated by the aptitudes and attitudes of the Blessed as they advance in his service.
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Optimism||Add an extra three skill points to one of the following skills: Etiquette, Navigation, Psychology or Teaching. Any skill points granted by this Mark can break the 100 point cap on skills.|
|Flow of Morale||The Blessed is able to bring a brief surge of hopeful resolve to those around him. Within 10 feet, this lasts for eight bits; to 20 feet, it lasts for five bits; to 30 feet it lasts for two bits. At "Adored", double either the range or duration. At "Exalted", double both.|
|Calming Overcast||A tense situation suddenly undergoes a dusky graying light, and the attitudes of everyone within 50 feet are affected as if the current hostility instead happened the day before, and everyone has had the time to cool off.|
|Night Torch||The Blessed can touch any item and cause it to glow with a bright, starry light. This light can be directed away from the holder, so as not to dazzle night vision. If no other Nalos abilities are used, this can be maintained as long as the item is held by the Blessed.|
|Fog Bank||The Blessed can generate a concealing fog to aid an innocent or threatened person to escape harm. If the target is instead genuinely guilty of some wrong, for which he was being pursued, the fog will instead leave trail behind him; as well as a revealing nimbus around him for a number of breaks equal to the Blessed's Etiquette skill. The target will have to run through the fog bank to activate this trail. During this time, placing this fog a second time will immediately dispel the current one.|
|Shooting Star||A Bow can be blessed to emit a ray of star light in a path that displays the trajectory of the arrow nocked upon it. This does not affect the shooter's ability to maintain this aim, and if the light moves from the target upon release of the arrow, the shot will still miss the mark. This effect can be called upon three times a trial.|
|Cooling/Warming Trend||The Blessed can impart an actual rise or drop in local temperature, to bring relief and encourage good moods. This can be up to a 15-degree effect in a single building; a 10-degree effect over a city block, or a 5-degree effect over a small village. At "Adored", raise the effect by an additional 5 degrees, and make the new 5-degree area be the size of a large town. At "Exalted", add another 5-degrees, and have the new 5-degree area be the size of an entire city. This effect will remain for an entire trial, but can not be generated again for another three.|
|Eyes of Dusk||The Blessed can impose the stark contrasts of lighting that are typical of dusk on one target. Shadows are much darker and lights much brighter by comparison than at any other time of trial. The effect this has is to render an adversary stricken by visual impairment, as if their eyes are never truly able to get used to the light. In game terms, appropriate skills are reduced by a tier equivalent when used. For instance, if a PC in a fist fight has 10 points into Master Level Unarmed Combat, this will reduce his skill to being Expert instead. This lasts for as many bits as the Blessed's Psychology skill.|
|Dry Ice Cloud||The cold of the void between the stars infuses this ground-level cloud with a near paralyzing cold. Joints grow stiff, hands grow numb on weapons, movements and communications are hindered by shivering, weapons and armor may become brittle. This has essentially the same game impact as "Eyes of Dusk", but is an Area-of-Effect power that covers 100 sq.ft. At Adored, it covers 200 sq.ft. At Exalted, it covers 300 sq.ft. The Blessed is unaffected by this cloud.|
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Bolstered Optimism||Add an extra six skill points to any two of the following skills (max of 3 points per skill): Etiquette, Navigation, Psychology, or Teaching. Any skill points granted by this Mark can break the 100 point cap on skills.|
|Starry Eyes||The Blessed can always see perfectly well in all darkness. What's more, he can detect Shadow-form Naerikks, and can see through the shadow-based blessings of Audrae, if his blessing level is superior to theirs. This does not, however, cure blindness.|
|Cloud Nine||The Blessed can put one adversary to sleep. The amount of divine force needed to complete this act depends on the level of Resistance or Discipline the target possesses, whichever is higher. The targets will be marked so their superiors will know that they were targeted by an Immortal power, to spare them serious repercussions.|
|Fulcrum of Fervor||The Blessed can select a single word to empower with the ability to spread optimism. When he cries it, those nearby may take up the cry, compounding the power and range of it's uplifting effect. The fervor generated by this collective outcry will last until dawn of the next trial. This can only be cast once per cycle. At "Exalted", it can be cast three times per cycle.|
|Starlight Key||Once a season, the Blessed can bring down starlight to form a key that will unlock any key-type lock. This hardened starlight will stay this way, for use on this same lock, for the remainder of the night in which it was formed. It is bright however, and could give away stealthy movements. In the alternative, this key can be left in the lock to ensure it remains unlocked, but is easily seen by any hostiles. Covering it will help greatly, but the presence of something covering the lock will be suspicious in and of itself. This key can not be used on combination locks, nor will it remove a simple bar from a door or unlatch mechanisms.|
|Shadow of Doubt||The Blessed brings clouds overhead to create a dusk-like atmosphere that strips the morale from enemies over a broad area. Those of only Novice Discipline or Resistance throw down their weapons and run or surrender. Competent level enemies back away, promising no aggression. Expert level enemies stand their ground, but do nothing unless attacked. Master or higher are unaffected, but will probably reconsider any aggressive act if many of their support troops are demoralized.|
|Cloudy Armor||The Blessed is covered in a cloudy blanket that cushions or misdirects melee strokes and ranged missiles so they afflict only light wounds. A very skilled fighter or marksman can accomplish higher levels of damage against this armor. In game terms, this armor reduces the attacker's pertinent skill by one tier, so that the Blessed's counter skill is more effective.|
|Guiding Stars||The Blessed is guided by the stars at night. When the stars begin to appear it is as if they speak to him, giving intangible hints as to where things are, the best way to go to reach them, and what hazards may lie in whichever path he takes. The glares of starlight seem to take on brief shapes that warn and direct. There must be either direct, or directly reflected, starlight present to receive this benefit. Night clouds lit with starlight will also bestow this benefit. Those that lack Xiur's mark will not perceive this effect.|
|Spread the Word||The Blessed can make additional individuals the central focus of "Flow of Morale", "Calming Overcast", "Cooling/Warming Trend", "Night Torch" or "Dry Ice Cloud" without it costing him his charge of its use. This second person must be willing, but can only be given one of these boons at a time. The Blessed can bestow several of the same boon, or one each of several if he chooses.|
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Optimum Optimism||Add an extra nine skill points to the following skills (max of 3 points per skill): Etiquette, Navigation, Psychology, or Teaching. Any skill points granted by this Mark can break the 100 point cap on skills.|
|Unshakable Resolve||The Blessed is immune to any demoralizing effects; magic, chemical, divine or otherwise. What's more, he knows when such an effect has been attempted against him; as well as the source and specific ability used.|
|Empowered Sunset||With the arrival of dusk, the Blessed can infuse one thing with the energy of the encroaching stars. This can be used to permanently heal a person of serious wounds, reduce fatal wounds to serious, or grant a temporary boon of superhuman level to one physical or mental attribute. In the alternative, this can be used to permanently repair a broken item, or to bestow a temporary enhancement to it.|
|Cloud Form||Once per trial, the Blessed can alter the physical structure of his body to an equal mass of cloudy mist. This can enable escapes from bonds as well as cells or other tight spots. It does not enable controlled flight, but like any waft of mist, air currents can lift and carry him. A fast moving air current can allow him to travel quite swiftly. He can slowly thicken his form to bring him down safely from heights obtained by these currents. This form can last up to thirty bits, depending on the Blessed's concentration. Switching in and out of this form does not heal wounds.|
|Nova Flare||The Blessed can do one of two things: He can glow at an unbearably bright level, giving off an aura of heat that makes anyone getting close enough to touch him believe they will take burning damage if they do. This lasts for one bit for every Nalos ability earned. Or they can flash a single burst of light that blinds everyone within 100 yards for 1 bit, 80 yards for 2 bits, 60 yards for 3 bits, 40 yards for 4 bits, and 20 yards for 5 bits.|
|Dusk to Dawn||The Blessed can now gain the benefit of "Guiding Light" even when starlight is not naturally present. This includes being indoors and underground. The Blessed still sees visions of starlight hints in his eyes that no other sees. But this benefit is only during nighttime breaks.|
|Cloud Wall||Once a day, the Blessed can call up a fog that hardens into an impenetrable wall. It lasts for as many bits as the Blessed has Nalos abilities, minus those already "spent" that day. Climbing it requires a Climb skill of 50+, with a Resistance of less than 50 resulting in weakness that halves appropriate skills for the remainder of that same trial. Digging beneath its impenetrable roots takes longer and has the same possible "Resistance"-based backlash. Flying characters are not affected.|
|Meteor Shower||This ability is granted only to those who become Xiur's Champion, as it requires the ancient tongue to activate. The Blessed takes a full break to call down starlight from the heavens in either a devastating barrage of anti-personnel missiles, or a single massive meteor intended to smash structures. As this requires actual starlight, it is no faster during the day or night. If the ritual is interrupted, it must be started anew with loss of previous time spent.|
|Constellation|| This ability is granted only to those who become Xiur's Champion, as it requires the ancient tongue to activate. The night sky of Idalos has many glittering constellations. As the Blessed grows in devotion, his mark takes on the shape of one of the four most well-known of them. His boon depends entirely on which constellation forms during his growth as a devotee. The Blessed can use no other Nalos abilities while a constellation is in effect.
The Galleon - The Blessed can form a Great ship of pure starlight that can transport a normal count of men or troops. It does not require a crew, following the will and direction of the Blessed, and remaining intact to complete its journey even if the Blessed should be killed. It can only be summoned once per cycle, and can not go to more than one destination. It travels at a greatly increased speed, resists supernatural hazards like the following wave, and can cruise right through a calm. However, it can take basic damage from any source. Damage however does not breech the hull or harm the masts or sails. It only disperses that small bit of light causing the entire form to shrink slightly and "fill in" the damage.
The Dragon - A Great flying reptile, formed of starlight, lands before the Blessed and flies himself and one passenger to any destination. Neither rider can be knocked from its saddle, though disorientation from quick aerial maneuvers can render them unconscious. Damage does not "kill" the beast, but like "The Galleon", enough damage will cause the entity to shrink until it will no longer be able to support its riders. This entity can only be summoned once per season.
The Lurker - The Blessed can summon a giant construct of light, similar in shape to the dreaded "Lurker of the Cliffs". This construct treats damage taken in the same way as "The Dragon", until it is reduced to the point of being harmless. However, it can deliver devastating strikes to those that attack it. It is completely controlled by the Blessed, rather than being guided by feral rage. If the Blessed chooses, The Lurker will simply stand and block a passage without striking back at those wearing it down. If the Blessed should be rendered unconscious, the Lurker will continue to perform the last command given it. This entity can only be summoned once per season.
The Brux - Unlike the other three constellations, activation of this, does not summon a creature of light. instead, the Blessed takes on the form of one, complete with the glowing light aura. This Brux form can run across land almost as swiftly as "The Dragon" can fly. Like "The Lurker", the Brux form can fight back against its attackers, using a deadly goring attack with its glowing horns, or a flurry of kicks with its hooves, front or back. It's speed and agility make this form quite formidable, and because it is an actual transformation of the Blessed's own flesh, damaging the Brux is not so easy. The creature possesses whatever degree of armor the Blessed was adorned in at the moment of transformation and enjoys its full protection. This form can only be generated once per season.
The Curse of Nalos
Xiur is loath to inflict a curse on anyone, wishing always to hope for the character's redemption. But where deliberate malice and remorseless sadism is concerned, there comes a point...
The Cursed walks in a gloomy despair that no power can disperse. He can not find joy or satisfaction in anything. Not even the thought of a course of action truly appeals to him. Even suicide is repugnant to him, feeling like cowardice. Whatever time of trial it is becomes exactly the break that he loathes the most.
The Cursed also becomes the focus of community wretchedness wherever he goes. Those around him identify him as the source of a malaise of despondency, gathering together to unanimously reject him. He has trouble focusing his eyes on anything due to a permanent starry dazzle in his vision.
The Cursed now loses any sense of his surroundings. He is forever entombed in a cold, pea-soup fog, denying him a view of anything. Now his psychology is altered to long for every time of day or terrain and scenery. But all he can see is a dusky dark fog; and all he can hear is the contemptuous rejection of those around him.